Deaf Ministries

 

Deaf Ministries

Karen Miller, the Deaf Ministries Coordinator at Grace Church, works as our connection to the deaf community in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. She serves as a liaison for those seeking assistance, visitation, counseling, interpreters, and transportation. She has proven invaluable to our deaf neighbors trying to deal with everything from doctor's appointments to taxes, to finding connections through Bible studies, scrap booking, line dancing and more.

Karen truly embodies the spirit of The United Methodist Church's goals to "open hearts, minds, and doors"--for both hearing and deaf children of God. We are blessed to have her sharing her gifts through Grace.

"God gave me this ministry because he knows I can work both worlds, [both the] Hearing and Deaf world. I thank God everyday."  -Karen Miller
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Activities of Deaf Ministry for 2016

Worship — interpreted once a month, usually on the third Sunday,

Approximately 6 each service for a total of 12 people

Planning to have a "pull-out " service on the third Sunday with a separate Deaf Bible Study and worship at 10 am then rejoining the full Grace church community for Communion Bible Study — monthly all-Deaf taught in ASL approximately 25 people

Outreach — Case management and advocacy and mentoring by Carol Stevens. Karen works 1-2 days a week to meet the spiritual, Social and everyday needs of the Deaf Community. —New Deaf Fellowship meets monthly for fun and education and opportunities to be in Deaf Community. Between 30 -50 each monthly.

Karen continues to assume leadership roles in the Deaf Community as chair for the Delaware School for the Deaf Reunion, attending meetings in the Deaf community, hosting and providing Christian hospitality for Deaf community events at Grace to encourage Deaf people. Pastoral care to the Deaf community.

Leadership:
Karen and Carol have both become Certified Lay Ministers. Karen is the first culturally Deaf Cl.-M is the world.  4 Deaf people from Grace attended the Northeast Jurisdiction meeting to learn about the workings of the Church and increase awareness of Deaf ministry in NEJ.       

Karen re-elected president of NEJ Deaf Ministries

Carol awarded the 2nd national Excellence in Deaf Evangelism and Mission from UMC.

Carol-Vice Chair of UM-Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Committee

-Karen —representative to the United Methodist Congress of the Deaf (UMCD)

-Karen —Lay member to Annual Conference

Advocacy and community involvement

-We have form a group to strive to get group homes for vulnerable Deaf people with special needs and Deaf-blind people in Delaware. They are currently house with all hearing clients and hearing staff none of whom know sign language to communicate with them.

—Constant advocacy and oversight to assure that Deaf people receive services.

— Hosting workshops and Deaf meetings at Grace to increase visibility and to show Christian hospitality.

Training and empowerment

—6 Deaf people attended NEJ events and were exposed to the larger Church and the Church exposed to Deaf Ministry —Karen and Carol attended Path 1 training for interns. Karen took 2 week Deaf pilgrimage to Holy Land. — Karen attended 4-day Deaf ministry training given by Deaf Missions.

-Carol with the blessing of the CLM national leaders, is developing for the UM-DHM training for Deaf Lay people for Certified Lay Servant and Certified Lay Minister Training. There has never been appropriate training in the past.

A meeting with volunteer interpreters

Has grown from weekly to twice a week.

International Deaf Ministry Mission Trip was led by Carol. Team consisted of 1 1 hearing and Deaf people who went back again for 3 weeks to Zimbabwe and Kenya to help our partners as they develop Deaf Ministry and improve Deaf education and services with Deaf people.

Camp for Deaf Adults with Special Needs at Camp Pecometh for 36 campers and their staff (total 70) All Deaf with additional severe disabilities. For some of the campers who live in hearing group homes it is the only week of the year that they have anyone with whom to communicate. The best week of the year!

These are some of the blessings of Deaf ministry in the Deaf community. We are grateful to God and to Grace church for the love and support that make it possible for us to minister with Deaf people, the largest unchurched group in the US.

Blessings

Karen Miller and Carol/ Stevens

Nov 17, 2016